The Container Store, which has been rated one of the top 100 places to work for over ten years in a row, believes that one great employee equals three good employees (GreatPlaceToWork.com).  Let that sink in…. a great employee is three times as valuable as a good one.   

Do you have “good” employees or do you have “great” employees? More importantly, can you recognize the difference and identify who your great employees are?

Think about the difference in value between an employee who is simply good at their job, and one who is great. The truly great employees are much more valuable than their simply good counterparts. Why is the Container Store right? What can we learn? Let’s explore the difference, so that we can seek out and hire those exceptional people.  

As a business owner, my number one priority is always hiring the right people. People, more than product, determine the success of every activity within an organization. A major job of the CEO is to select and develop team members who are committed to achieving a shared vision. In differentiating between the good and great employees, it comes down to this: the employee is committed and passionate. The committed and passionate employee is willing to do more than what is required.  They will take on tasks that fall outside the line of duty. The great employee accepts any task or project, however difficult – they have the “can-do” attitude. No excuses, no blame games, they get it done.

The Container Store, with revenue of approximately $795 million (2015) across 90 locations nationwide (2017), has found a unique way to seek out great employees: they hire customers. The Company realized that its customers are truly passionate and excited about the products, traits it also desired in employees. The Container Store has a preference for hiring friends and family of current employees, and provides a monetary incentive for successful referrals.

The Container Store found a great way to locate committed and passionate employees by hiring directly from its customer base. They use a highly selective process to identify the very best prospects, and as a result, get many more applicants than they hire. In 2015, The Container Store hired only 4 percent of all applicants.  

One important key is locating the source from which your great employees come.  This may or may not be your customer base, referrals, a great school, etc…

Try this out:

Think of which of your employees are truly great, those that prove to be much more valuable than other employees. Make a list. Now, next to each name, write down how you found that employee. My own experience, as a former retailer, is not unlike that of the Container Store. Virtually every employee I hired was a customer who loved our store, our culture, and our jewelry. The next time you have a hiring need, start with this list. Seek out new employees from the places you have found great employees in the past.

The CEO Checklist

Historically, 20% of the companies that make the Inc. 500 list crash and burn within two years of making the list. What should they have known? What should they have done or done differently?

In this program, you will learn the fundamental skills and behaviors that savvy entrepreneurs have mastered in order to survive and prosper.

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